Kaleidoscope featuring Eddie Palmieri

By Andre Banks Mar 24, 2007

Facing Race was on its feet last night as some of New York’s hottest poets, musicians and filmmakers joined jazz legend Eddie Palmieri for Kaleidescope. Photos by Brian Palmer Although we talk a lot about bridging our cultural traditions and our political commitments, the end result can sometimes be forced. But last night’s event, emceed by Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop author jchang, was that rare exception. Even at the end of a long day featuring 2 plenaries and more than 30 workshops, every act was followed by a standing ovation by an enthusiastic and appreciative audience. Through powerful poetry, humor and music La Bruja demanded we understand and embrace the politics and culture of a "real Bronx boricua". The 17-year old Kiri Davis spoke eloquently about her film A Girl Like Me and the pressure she and her friends face in a world that constantly says their dark skin is ugly. The Chance crooned powerful ballads about peace and freedom and recited stark poetry by Hallie. Angela Jones’ poetry took spoken word back to its roots: analysis that dug truth up by the roots and a lyrical beauty and intensity without pretense. Aladdin used comedy to cross continents and cultures while Taiyo Na’s acoustic guitar and thoughtful lyrics rounded out the first half of the show. And then there was Eddie. Last night, everyone was a jazz fanatic. Kicking off his set with a piece written by the legendary Tito Puente, it took only seconds to realize we were in the presence of a master. At 73, Palmieri played with the vigor of a 20-year old and brought shouts, screams and applause from the audience. Some clips from that show will be here on RaceWire next week. The full line-up of Kaleidoscope, co-produced with Breakthrough. • Filmmaker Kiri Davis’s special presentation of her acclaimed A Girl Like Me • New York’s best Spoken Word & Hip-Hop from La Bruja, Taiyo Na, and Angela Jones • South Asian comedian Aladdin • The Chance